Kumail Nanjiani is an Oscar-nominated writer and critically acclaimed actor and comedian.
As co-writers, he and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay for The Big Sick, in which Nanjiani starred alongside Holly Hunter, Zoe Kazan, and Ray Romano. Premiering to tremendous acclaim at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, the film was released by Amazon in Summer 2017, becoming one of the breakout hits of the year.
The Big Sick went on to be named one of the AFI’s Top Films of the Year and to win the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Comedy, the Hollywood Film Award for Comedy Ensemble of the Year and an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay. Additionally, it has earned two Independent Spirit Award nominations, a Producer’s Guild Award nomination, two SAG Award nominations including for Best Ensemble, Writer’s Guild and Gotham Award nominations for Original Screenplay, as well as recognition from numerous other critic’s groups across the country.
As an actor, Nanjiani also earned praise for his leading performance. He earned the Virtuoso Award from the esteemed Santa Barbara Film Festival, the Auteur Award at the San Diego International Film Festival, and was named one of Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch and honored at the 2017 Hamptons International Film Festival. Now, Nanjiani reprises his starring role as ‘Dinesh’ on season five of the Emmy Award-winning HBO comedy series Silicon Valley, opposite Thomas Middleditch, Martin Starr and Zach Woods. Over the years, the series has won two Critic’s Choice Awards for Best Comedy Series and been named one of the AFI’s TV Programs of the Year.
Nanjiani recently attached himself as actor and writer for an upcoming TV adaptation of My Beautiful Laundrette being developed at Turner-owned Super Deluxe. Alec Berg and Hanif Kureishi will executive produce with Stephen Gaghan. The serialization will be based on the Oscar-nominated 1985 indie film, which revolved around a young British man of Pakistani heritage and his white boyfriend, a former gang leader, who take on running a London laundromat owned by the British-Pakistani man’s uncle. The film was lauded for its portrayal of the gay and immigrant communities. Nanjiani will co-write and star.
Nanjiani’s many memorable film roles include Fist Fight, Hello, My Name Is Doris, Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates, The Five-Year Engagement, Sex Tape Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and Central Intelligence. His vocal talents were also recently heard voicing one of the ninja warriors in The Lego Ninjago Movie from Warner Bros.
On television, Nanjiani served as writer, executive producer and co-host of Comedy Central’s The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, along with Jonah Ray. He has had roles on IFC’s Portlandia, TNT’s Franklin & Bash, the reality show parody, Burning Love, and Comedy Central’s Michael & Michael Have Issues, where he also served as a staff writer. He appeared in a guest role on The X-Files on FOX and has appeared on Community, Inside Amy Schumer and Drunk History, among others.
His 2013 comedy special, Kumail Nanjiani: Beta Male, was on several ‘Best Of’ lists, including Vuiture, Village Voice and The AV Club, and was chosen as one of the 5 best stand-up albums of the year by Entertainment Weekly. Nanjiani has also hosted two podcasts, The Indoor Kids and The X-Files
In October 2017, Nanjiani hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time, receiving rave reviews for his monologue, performance, and sharp comedic ability.